As photos and videos of grade school and high school students from St. Scholastica as they protested against the surprise Marcos burial were posted online, netizens reacted negatively against the school. Many were accusing the school of “child abuse” while others accused them of forcing their students to protest with a noise barrage against the dictator’s burial.
A mother of one of the students from St. Scholastica who joined the rally even allegedly complained against the school to Mocha Uson through her Facebook page. The mother claimed that her daughter was required to join the activity, based on a blank form that were sent to the parents, wherein students must fill in “protest against Marcos burial” or “Marcos no hero” as the activity.
Facebook page Madam Claudia also shared a photo of Uson featuring the Inquirer video of St. Scholastica students protesting Marcos’ burial and how one commenter dared Uson to file charges against the school instead of simply complaining about it on social media.
Later, it turned out that St. Scholastica did send their students’ parents waivers asking them for permission if they are going to allow their daughter to join the protest.
One of Duterte’s supporters, Sass Rogando Sassot, posted the actual waiver sent by the school to parents.
Even Uson clarified the issue, saying that she did not say the students were forced to join the protest and that her words were twisted by other people. She also shared a screenshot of a Facebook post denying that students were forced.
Facebook user Charmae Antonio shared a screenshot of a St. Scholastica student responding to a netizen who said that as kids, they don’t even know how to decide on their own and that those who allowed the kids to join the protest committed child abuse.
“Hello. I’m the girl in the picture with the megaphone. Please do not underestimate the youth. We completely know and understand the injustice we are protesting against. Thank you,” said the St. Scholastica student.
Facebook user Bernard Ong also weighed in on the issue, saying that netizens should stop bashing St. Scholastica because the school merely stayed true to its mission.
“Here is the Mission Statement of St Scholastica: “We are a Catholic Benedictine educational institution for young women committed to providinga holistic formation anchored on academic excellence to mold our students into critically aware and socially responsible agents of change towards the transformation to a just and equitable society,” Ong said.
Ong said that parents who chose to send their daughters to St. Scholastica already know this.
“Scholasticans are taught inside classrooms the issues of the day, the historical background, the moral compass to discern right from wrong. That molds them to be ‘critically aware,’” Ong added.
“Protesting on the street is a concrete way to act on your beliefs, to make a stand, to enlighten others, to drive change. They are fighting for social justice – admit the wrongs, return the loot, don’t revise history. Their actions are those of ‘socially responsible agents of change towards the transformation to a just and equitable society,’” Ong said.
He said that accusing the nuns of hypocrisy and brainwashing their students is “ill-informed,” adding that the school did an “awesome job” in realizing the school’s ideals.
Ong then asked, “What did your school teach you?”